Belfast Telegraph

Former CityJet boss Ourmieres-Widener appointed as the new CEO at Flybe

Job: Christine Ourmieres-Widener. Photo: Flybe/PA
Job: Christine Ourmieres-Widener. Photo: Flybe/PA

By Holly Williams

Flybe has named Christine Ourmieres-Widener as its new chief executive after the regional airline's boss stepped down two months ago. Ms Ourmieres-Widener - a former senior executive at Air France and previous boss at CityJet - will take on the role from January 16.

Her appointment comes after previous Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad left by mutual agreement in October following more than three years with the business.

Chairman Simon Laffin assumed the role of executive chairman after his departure, but will revert back to non-executive chairman when Ms Ourmieres-Widener joins.

Flybe has struggled financially in recent years, booking a £35.6m loss in 2015 before swinging back into a £2.7m profit in 2016.

The airline runs 14 direct flights from Belfast City Airport and in October announced it was considering launching a Londonderry to Heathrow route.

Mr Laffin said: "We are delighted that Christine is joining Flybe at what is a very exciting time for the company as we transition to become an increasingly customer-driven business.

"Christine brings extensive experience of aviation and travel, as well as deep knowledge of the regional aviation market, which will be extremely valuable."

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Ms Ourmieres-Widener has a lengthy career in the aviation and travel sectors, having first started in the maintenance department of Air France before working her way up to become the airline's UK and Ireland general manager and later vice-president in New York.

She was chief executive of CityJet between 2010 and 2015 and has since acted as chief global sales officer for American Express Global Business Travel.

She joins Flybe on a £400,000 annual salary, with an annual bonus worth up to £400,000, as well as potential long-term incentive scheme shares. Flybe is also paying £120,000 for Ms Ourmieres-Widener and her family to relocate from New York.

She said: "I am very excited to be joining Flybe and being able to bring my industry experience and passion to the business.

"I look forward to working with the board and the entire team to continue Flybe's progression to becoming a more customer-focused business, aided by the greater control that the airline now has over its future fleet size."

Belfast Telegraph